Issues faced by Queensland universities involved in Initial Teacher Education (ITE) experience were in the spotlight at a recent focus group hosted by the School of Education and Professional Studies (EPS).
School staff met with representatives from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for the focus group, which forms part of a broader, global study into teaching and learning, conducted by the OECD.
EPS Head of School Professor Donna Pendergast says the study seeks to provide policy makers and practitioners with examples of effective and innovative policies to improve initial teacher preparation (ITP) programs.
“The study explores how countries attract and select the most suitable candidates into ITP programs, equip prospective teachers with the right skills, certify, select and support new teachers, and ensure effective program delivery.”
Countries participating in the study include Australia, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Norway, Saudi Arabia, the United States and Wales.
The group offered insights into a range of issues.
Issues such as advocacy of teaching as a profession, attraction and selection of pre-service teachers, program structure, student retention, professional experience and the relationship with industry were all discussed.
Also covered in the discussion was innovation in program design and quality assurance, and beginning teacher induction programs.
Donna said the OECD representatives were very interested in a range of areas relating to ITE in Queensland.
“OECD representatives were very interested in the various undergraduate and postgraduate pathways offered in Queensland,” said Donna.
“Also of interest is the way our programs are responsive to factors including teaching in rural and remote communities, as well as being conscious of a range of cultural, economic and social contexts impacting on the teaching profession.
“It was a lively discussion in which we explored many facets of Queensland ITE. Thank you to Donna, David, Mia, Kevin, Loraine and Sarah for their representation on the panel.”
The meeting took place at Benowa State High School, to highlight one of the initiatives supporting the training of teachers in Queensland, as it is one of five Teacher Education Centres of Excellence.